Director Maya Zinshtein places the fortunes and misfortunes of football club Beitar Jerusalem in a turbulent football season in a sociopolitical context. By doing so, she transcends the usual sports documentary and provides a remarkable glimpse of the interconnectedness of sports, politics, corruption and hate speech.
Israeli-Russian businessman Arcadi Gaydamak would like to become the mayor of Jerusalem. In order to achieve that goal, he buys the local football club Beitar, so the fans of that club will also support him electorally. But when he loses the election, Gaydamak is stuck with a football club that he would rather get rid of. He is hardly involved in the club, but does decide to add two Muslims from Chechnya to the team. That decision does not go down well with the fanatic supporters of the Jewish club. The captain and crowd-favourite does not explicitly oppose the arrival of the Chechnya duo and becomes a target of hate from the supporters.
Filmmaker Maya Zinshtein filmed this turbulent season and created a documentary which
transcends football and shows an intriguing image of the destructive force of discrimination.
Text: Dirk van der Straaten